I’m not one for surprises. Don’t get me wrong, I like dishing them out, but I’m just utterly trash at receiving them. What am I supposed to do? Jump up and down? Break out into happy tears? Put on a never-ending smile that walks the fine line of sincere and creepy? My poor reaction doesn’t mean that I appreciate the surprise any less. Somewhere inside my skin and bones, I will feel sheer excitement, it just doesn’t ooze out my pours.
There is a reason I mention this in the wake of tomorrow’s draft: I expect to be surprised. Even if the Bulls stay at No. 4 and pick the popular Deni Avdija, there will probably be an element of surprise among the fan base thanks to the constant rumors we’ve heard around this organization. No one knows what to believe. So, I’m just happy I get to have my tamed, weird reaction from the comfort of my own couch. I’m much more capable of putting my emotions into ALL CAPS tweets, anyway.
• On that note, are the Bulls really about to draft Patrick Williams? The Florida State wing is certainly one of the more intriguing prospects in the draft class thanks to his positional size, two-way skill set, and age. However, there are also plenty of question marks about his potential after not recording a single start in college. For the most part, he has been projected to go where he belongs – the mid-to-late lottery. In other words, he has not been slated to go really anywhere near the Bulls No. 4 pick … that is, not until this past week.
One Source Under Impression Bulls Have Told Patrick Williams He's Their Guy https://t.co/Fkj1DlDRdL
— Bleacher Nation Bulls (@BN_Bulls) November 17, 2020
• Hell, if there is any draft to just reach for the player you like the most, this would be the one. Perhaps Karnisovas really does have high expectations for Williams and views him as an integral part of this organization moving forward. In AK we trust. At the same time, if the Bulls did select Williams at No. 4, I would fear a missed opportunity. The Pistons at No. 7 have been the second-highest team on the board to reportedly express interest in Williams. Simply put, this means the Bulls could risk selecting a player three picks too early, which is just bad business. The goal should be to add assets whenever possible. If Williams is the Bulls target, they should do whatever they can to trade a couple of spots down.
• Some believe LaMelo Ball will be the No. 1 overall pick, others believe he is in store for a free-fall down the draft board. With the draft only 24 hours away, there is probably little use in speculating anymore, but I can’t help myself. Like, for real, what the hell are the Bulls going to do if Ball sits there at No. 4? My gut instinct is that you have to take him. For anyone who frequently visits BN Bulls, they know I’m not the biggest Ball fan. I worry about his maturity, shot-selection, and general athleticism. However, no one can deny that if his head is screwed on straight, he could be an All-Star lead guard. The other choice for the Bulls would be to field possible suitors, which I wouldn’t mind one bit. My assumption is that the market for the No. 4 pick isn’t as fruitful as one would hope at the moment, but that can all change if signs start to point toward Ball, Edwards, or Wiseman being available outside the top-3. I expect the Knicks or Pistons could be VERY interested in swapping picks, which could still put the Bulls in a position to land someone like Tyrese Haliburton or Kira Lewis Jr.
• Anyway, here is a good read that stresses just how confusing the Ball conversation can be.
One scout says LaMelo Ball is the “most talented player in the draft.” But another scout asks, “Can he be humble?”
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) November 17, 2020
• ICYMI: The Bulls decided NOT to extend qualifying offers to Kris Dunn or Shaquille Harrison. Instead, the organization hopes to keep Denzel Valentine on board for one more season. I can easily understand some Bulls fans disappointment in this decision, but let’s not act like it’s a big deal. Karnisovas and Eversley were brought to Chicago to put their own spin on this roster. The organization decided the one-dimensional talent from Dunn (and, to some extent, Harrison) was not a good fit for where they want to go. Fine by me. Let’s not pretend anyone on this roster is or should be safe. The Bulls were a 22-win franchise last season, and it’s time to push things in a new direction. Getting rid of Dunn and Harrison is just the beginning of that process. Get ready for more.
• The Bucks go even more legit last night by trading for Jrue Holiday and Bogdan Bogdanovic. Milwaukee’s lineup was already pretty scary, but a starting squad that features Holiday, Middleton, Bogdanovic, and Antetokounmpo is straight-up terrifying. What’s also terrifying (in an actual way and not a cool way) is what the Bucks gave up for Holiday. The organization sent over three first-rounders and two pick swaps along with Eric Bledsoe and George Hill. Holiday is good, but is he worth that draft compensation? Hell no.
Here is the pick breakdown on the Jrue Holiday trade:
New Orleans receives
2020 1st (via IND)
2024 right to swap
2025 1st unprotected
2026 right to swap
2027 1st unprotected
— Bobby Marks (@BobbyMarks42) November 17, 2020
• But you know who is worth that kind of draft compensation? Giannis. The Bucks are racing to make the 2x MVP commit long-term to the organization. He can decide to accept a super-max contract extension in the coming weeks, and no doubt the team is hoping these additions convince him to sign those papers. If he does stick around, then I doubt the Bucks have any regrets about this trade.
• PUT TONI IN THE HALL OF FAME YOU COWARDS.
“The Bulls approached me and said, ‘Do you think you’d like to play for us?’ Obviously, it was awesome.” – Toni Kukoc
— Chicago Bulls (@chicagobulls) November 17, 2020